There are many different factors that go into estimating your solar savings. A few important ones include the following:
So how much can you really save? According to Understand Solar, your savings could be between $10,000 and $70,000 over the life of your PV system depending on where you live. Solar calculators are a good way to get an initial estimate, but remember that these calculators are not an absolute indication of your savings. A few good places to find estimates are Google’s Project Sunroof and Energy Sage’s Solar Calculator.
Having a solar energy system for your home actually has the potential to increase your property value. According to a study sponsored by the Department of Energy, researchers found that homebuyers were willing to pay more for a home with an average-sized solar installation than a home of a similar size without one.
Things can get a bit trickier if you lease your solar panels and intend to sell your house. The solar lease can be transferred to the new homebuyers, should they want to keep the solar installation, but they’ll need to qualify for the lease based on credit score. Before purchasing a photovoltaic system, it’s important to consider your payment options and the implications of each.
Many people live in a home that is not suitable for rooftop solar, whether it’s a condo, apartment, or home that is not a candidate for solar. Community solar is one way to reap the benefits of solar energy without having a PV installation on your own roof. Instead, community solar installations could be large systems on the roof of a big building, on top of a garage, or ground mount installations in an unused area. You can then purchase or lease solar modules that are part of the community solar installation to power your home. For more information on community solar, check out the U.S. Department of Energy’s FAQs on community renewable energy.